The Miami Herald website reports today (May 19, 2012) that critics of mandatory-minimum sentencing laws are upset over a 20-year prison term imposed on a Florida woman for firing a warning shot to try to scare off her threatening husband.
Civil rights groups -- and other advocates -- say the sentencing of 31-year-old Marissa Alexander shows how stripping judges of discretion can result in unfair sentences.
Alexander tried unsuccessfully to invoke Florida's "stand your ground" law, after she was charged in a dispute with her husband. A jury convicted her of aggravated battery with a firearm.
Florida's "10-20-life" law that targets gun crimes required the judge to sentence her to 20 years in prison.